Practice Relating to Rule 96. Hostage-Taking
The Military Manual (1993) of the Netherlands restates the prohibition of hostage-taking found in common Article 3 of the 1949 Geneva Conventions and Article 75 of the 1977 Additional Protocol I and Article 4 of the 1977 Additional Protocol II.
The manual further provides that hostage-taking is a grave breach of the 1949 Geneva Conventions and of the 1977 Additional Protocol I.
The Military Manual (2005) of the Netherlands states that “kidnapping and deportation are forbidden”.
In its chapter on the protection of the civilian population, the manual states that “hostage-taking [is] prohibited”.
The manual refers to hostage-taking as an act that is “prohibited at all times
(emphasis in original)
In its chapter on non-international armed conflict, the manual states: “Acts of terror and hostage-taking are prohibited.”
In its chapter on non-international armed conflict, the manual states:
It is expressly prohibited to carry out the following acts against the civilian population or individual civilians, wounded, sick or prisoners:
- threatening anyone with the above-mentioned acts or treatment.
In its chapter on peace operations, under the heading “Protection and treatment of civilians”, the manual states: “Any form of physical violence, hostage-taking, collective punishments or threats of these are strictly prohibited.”
Under the International Crimes Act (2003) of the Netherlands, “the taking of hostages” is a crime, whether committed in an international armed conflict (as a grave breach of the 1949 Geneva Conventions) or in a non-international armed conflict (as a violation of Article 3 common to the 1949 Geneva Conventions).